Oakey Scrub has been added to Queensland's protected area network in an agreement struck between the Palaszuzuk Government and South Endeavour Trust. The official declaration of the Oakey Scrub Nature Refuge was announced on Friday the 7th of October by the Minister for the Environment Meaghan Scanlon.
Nature refuges are a class of private protected area under the state’s Nature Conservation Act and are administered by a legally binding conservation agreement between a landholder and the government.“Queenslanders have made it clear: they want us to continue to protect our environment and grow our protected area estate. This new agreement does just that, building on the record $262 million we announced in the budget to create new national parks,” Minister Scanlon said.
Kelvin Davies, Founder of Rainforest 4 Foundation said "the declaration of Oakey Scrub as a Nature Refuge protects the habitat for threatened species including the Northern Quoll, Southern Cassowary, Bennett’s Tree-Kangaroo, Large-eared Horseshoe Bat, Semons Leaf-nosed Bat."
"The 64.7497 hectares have Monsoon Rainforest and Savannah ecosystems."
The Oakey Scrub Nature Refuge is 11 kilometres south-west of Cooktown. South Endeavour Trust Director Tim Hughes said the new Oakey Scrub Nature Refuge adjoins the Caloola Nature Refuge and provides additional landscape-scale connectivity with the nearby Annan River (Yuku Baja-Muliku) National Park.
“We purchased Oakey Scrub not only for the ecosystems they include but also for the strategic location providing valuable connectivity between lands already listed as protected in Queensland,” Mr Hughes said.“South Endeavour Trust now owns and manages more than 145,000 hectares of land west of Cooktown that are declared, or soon to be declared, as nature refuges.
”Minister Scanlon acknowledged Queensland’s nature refuge landholders, saying they were dedicated to the environment by preserving their land for future generations.The state’s nature refuges, which will number 555 when the new refuges are declared, cover more than 4.4 million ha – almost a third of Queensland’s protected area system, which itself totals 14.2 million ha or 8.2% of the state’s total land area.
“Queensland has the largest private protected area network in Australia by land area protecting a diversity of ecosystems and threatened species”, Minister Scanlon said.“By dedicating their land as nature refuges, these landholders help to ensure the ongoing success of Queensland’s protected area programs.”
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